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News roundup - Thursday, 26 August

Ljubljana, 26 August - Below is a roundup of major events on Thursday, 26 August:

Fourth Covid-19 wave escalating

LJUBLJANA - Slovenia reported 509 coronavirus infections for Wednesday as the test positivity rate stood at 17.4%. The 14-day incidence per 100,000 population rose from 187 to 199, meaning Slovenia is on the brink of entering the red phase. Hospitalisations topped 100 for the first time since mid-June, standing at 105 this morning. ICU cases totalled 18, show fresh official figures. The National Institute of Public Health estimates there are currently 4,275 active cases in the country.

Logar in Denmark to discuss cooperation, Afghanistan situation

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - Foreign Minister Anže Logar paid a visit to Denmark to meet his counterpart Jeppe Kofod. The talks focused on strengthening bilateral relations, reviewing the implementation of the priorities of the Slovenian EU presidency, and on topical international issues, including Afghanistan. Logar also met chair of the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee Martin Lidegaard, former Danish Prime Minister and NATO Secretary General Fogh Rasmussen and executives of logistics company of A.P. Moller-Maersk.

Zorčič talks bilateral cooperation, EU with Serbian colleague

BELGRADE, Serbia - Parliamentary Speaker Igor Zorčič started a two-day official visit to Serbia by meeting his counterpart Ivica Dačić. The two said they were happy with the traditionally friendly relations between the countries that are connected both by a shared history and a joint European future. Zorčič also meet with the chairs and members of the committees for European integration and for foreign affairs of the Serbian National Assembly, and had a a meeting with representatives of Slovenian companies.

Government extracts regulation of gas supply from energy law

LJUBLJANA - The government confirmed a bill that extracts the field of gas supply from the umbrella energy law and regulates it independently, with the additional provisions dealing with emergency measures and implementation of the solidarity mechanism of aid to EU member states in the case of gas supply disruptions. The government noted this is because the energy law needed to be constantly amended and supplemented due to constant changes of EU law.

Use of PCT rule expanded to students, indoor sports

LJUBLJANA - The tested-vaccinated-recovered requirement, known in Slovenia by the acronym PCT, will be expanded to university students and those participating in indoor sports activities under a decision adopted by the government. The change means university students who are unvaccinated or do not have proof of having recovered from coronavirus will have to be tested once a week to enter their universities, where the PCT rule already applies to all staff.

Appeal to anti-graft watchdog to check PM's contacts with lobbyists

LJUBLJANA - The opposition-controlled Commission for Oversight of Public Finances asked the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption to check the records of Prime Minister Janez Janša's contacts with lobbyists after a media reported that he had played golf on several occasions with the owner of a medical devices supplier. The resolution was adopted at a session called at the request of five centre-left deputy groups, who alleged that Janša had had opaque contacts with suppliers of medical equipment that could potentially constitute corruption.

Social partners ready to restore dialogue

LJUBLJANA - All social partners attending a meeting hosted by President Borut Pahor are ready to restore dialogue on the Economic and Social Council (ESS), Pahor said after the talks. An agreement on restoring the dialogue will be prepared by a spacial negotiating group. According to the president, the task force, consisting of representatives of the government, employers and employees, will draw up the agreement, which will contain demands regarding future work on the ESS.

Acclaimed Slovenian writer Boris Pahor celebrates 108th birthday

LJUBLJANA - Boris Pahor, the internationally famous Slovenian writer from Trieste, celebrates his 108th birthday. Throughout his life, Pahor has warned against totalitarian regimes, also in his novel Necropolis, where he describes his experiences in Nazi concentration camps. He has also received numerous honours and awards. On the occasion of his birthday, 26 colleagues paid tribute to him with a publication entitled Boris Pahor - Scrittore senza frontiere. Studi, interviste e testimonianze (Boris Pahor - A Writer without Frontiers. Studies, Interviews and Testimonies).

Nights in Old Ljubljana Town music festival kicks off

LJUBLJANA - Nights in Old Ljubljana Town, a traditional end-of-summer festival organised by the Imago Sloveniae Foundation, will begin tonight in Ljubljana's historical centre despite Covid-19. It will open with the Marko Hatlak Band while featuring a total of 19 events at five venues and over 100 artists from six countries until Saturday. The 33rd edition of the festival will combine traditional and modern sounds, intertwining progressive world music and jazz.

© STA, 2021